- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: The Advocado Press, Inc.; 1 edition (January 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 097211890X
- ISBN-13: 978-0972118903
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve and the Case Against Disability Rights 1st Edition
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Imagine an African American's voting rights withheld until he or she proved 100 percent African American descent, or a woman having to sue her employer to get a women's restroom in the workplace. Outrageous as those scenarios seem, their like is commonplace in the lives of the disabled, Johnson says, because of widespread misinterpretation and misapplication of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She points out numerous flaws in the law, beginning with its title (she prefers that of the British analog, the Disability Discrimination Act) and including the fact that it is enforceable only via lawsuit, putting rights seekers in an adversarial position, and that it contains an escape clause permitting noncompliance if accessibility causes a business "undue hardship." The disabled person's difficulties aren't, however, confined to the law, and the roots of conflict over disability rights reach deep into personal prejudices and national values. Bit-by-bit Johnson deconstructs arguments against disability rights from the likes of Clint Eastwood as well as more ordinary folk, and she constructs powerful reasons why we all benefit from inclusion. Donna Chavez
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"By exposing the case against disability rights . . . Johnson has improved the odds that we may take disability rights seriously." -- Mainstream magazine online
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I recommend it to anyone who wants to know about a fight in which the only voices you really hear from are those who are against including the disabled, and find lots of legal and "reasonable-sounding" ways to segregate and separate and discriminate against them.
The part I liked best contemplated how life would be better for everyone if our society designed and built, as well as hired and educated, to accommodate a wide range of human ability instead of a narrow one. This vision is worth the book.
In my estimation, Johnson's book is the most important contribution that has been made in the burgeoning field of disability studies in the last decade. In part this is because she provides not only a history of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) but explains in detail exactly how the court has eviserated the law. Broken into two parts, the first half the case against disabilty rights and the second the case for disability rights, Johnson uses popular and controversial figures such as Clint Eastwood and Christopher Reeve to make her point that there is a long standing bias against the disabled in American society. In fact, she ably demonstrates the legal bias against the disabled begins before they even enter the courthouse. Sadly, Johnson also demonstrates the ADA is widely misunderstood by the general public and more often than not simply not considered to be a part of the civil rights movement. This is sad because many thought the law would lead to the end of the most base forms of discrimation disabled people face on a daily basis. Alienation and the lack of access and the concommitant isolation and disenfranchisement that comes with it has not been eliminated by the ADA. While the social reality is not positive, Johnson's book is one of the opening salvos in what looks to be a very long battle for disabled people's civil rights. As such, Make Them Go Away should be considered must reading for disability rights activists, lobbyists, lawyers and all those on the front lines of the battle for disability rights. Johnson's book should also be required reading in classes in disabiltity along with other classic works by Erving Goffman and Robert Murphy. In short, buy the book, read it carefully, and share it with all those who not only have an interest in disabilty rights but the rights that all Americans are supposed to share.
Apparently he lacks the intelligence to understand that the reviewer before him emphasized the parallel of discrimination in this country against African Americans and the disabled. The author of the book brings it home when she says disability can happen to anyone at anytime. Therefore, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org criticizing and patronizing the disability issue, he should hope that he never has an accident, ages, or has an illness leaving him disabled because then he'll be quite glad of the ADA and those disabled people who had to fight tooth and nail for the rights and equality African Americans received in the 60s.
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